Q. I’m writing for some advice on dating a widow. She is actually my first wife.
We got married more than 30 years ago but divorced about a decade later. We both remarried; my marriage ended in divorce, hers in the death of her husband.
About a year and a half after his passing, she sent me a text asking if I would like to have dinner. We talked for about five hours that night. We both admitted we still love each other, and she even told me we should have never divorced; we were just young and had no idea what we were doing.
We decided to start seeing each other, but she said she needed to take her time. She told me she did love her second husband, which I understand. That was six months ago, and yes, we have made some progress, but not as much as I thought. She is going slower than I thought we would. I know she loves me, not because she tells me, but from her touch and from the look in her eyes. Nobody has ever looked at me the way she does. I do understand she loved her second husband, and I understand this is not easy for her, but it’s also not easy for me either, I just want us to be together and be happy.
Any advice you may have will be very helpful.
– Together and Happy
A. It’s only been six months. If you want someone who can commit right now, it’s probably not this woman. It’s up to you to decide whether you can have patience, and whether this relationship is worth waiting for.
The thing is, I think you need to figure out what you want, and how you would change the status quo. Are you looking for more physical intimacy? Or are you hoping you’ll move in together? Would you be happier with one more night a week of quality time? What is the more you seek? Maybe if you can explain what progress means—to yourself, at least—you can ask her for something specific. Perhaps it would take very little to make you feel like you’ve taken a few steps forward.
I advise you to drop the word “progress” from this conversation, if you can. It makes it seem like you want to be what you were—or are working your way to something very specific. It’d be better to figure out your goals together.
Please remember that you’re in a new relationship. Yes, you were married, but that was many years ago. You’ve lived different lives since then, and you’re still figuring out who she is now. Give yourself some time to do that without pressure.
What kind of “progress” do you need to see? If you are happy and know she loves you, then just enjoy each day and slow down. THENURSE
You don’t mention why you split in the first place, aside from your youth. Have you honestly looked back to consider what your role in the split originally was, and to ensure that you’ve dealt with your share of the blame for it? If she’s just seeing an older version of the man she divorced, it may not be enough. HIKERGALNH128
Unless you are afraid she is using you as a placeholder until she finds someone better, just relax. HEYITHINK
Find the new season of the Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show. Meredith Goldstein wants your letters! Send your relationship quandries and questions to email@example.com. Columns and responses are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.